The RAF Memorial Flight Official Club Yearbook for 2017 has just been published and will be sent out exclusively to Club members, free of charge, in the next couple of weeks.
This year we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the BBMF and this special 60th anniversary edition of the Yearbook is a bumper issue with 84 pages, more than ever before, with some fascinating stories and brilliant photographs and artwork. We are honoured to have the Foreword for this Yearbook written by HRH The Duke of Cambridge, Royal Patron of the RAF BBMF. This Yearbook could well become a collectors’ item.
In keeping with the 60th anniversary theme you can discover more about the ‘founding father’ of the Flight, Group Captain Peter Thompson DFC, who formed the Historic Aircraft Flight in July 1957 and without whose vision and persistence the BBMF would never have existed. Then, jumping forward 60 years, you will find a biopic of the BBMF of today providing a contrast with the unit’s modest beginnings.
This year sees an unprecedented number of colour scheme changes for the BBMF aircraft. The background stories behind the new ‘identities’ for Spitfire Mk IX MK356 and Spitfire Mk XVI TE311 tell of the heroes and heroics represented by them. Many readers will be most interested in the new livery for Lancaster PA474, which the bomber will wear when it emerges from its ‘major’ servicing at Duxford. The story accompanying the port-side 460 (Royal Australian Air Force) Squadron markings, which has taken some painstaking research and detective work, is told in detail. On its starboard side PA474 will wear the code letters ‘VN-T’, those of Lancaster LL922, in which ‘Dougy’ Millikin, grandfather of the current OC BBMF, Squadron Leader Andy ‘Milli’ Millikin, completed 27 of his ‘ops’ with 50 Squadron. The sole surviving member of his crew, wireless operator John Tait, has kindly written the ‘Veteran’s Viewpoint’ for this issue.
In the regular ‘Lest we forget’ feature we remember a heroic airman from a more recent era, who paid the ultimate price in service with the RAF. The ‘Keeping ’em Flying’ feature highlights some of the remarkable work carried out by the BBMF engineers on the Flight’s historic aircraft, and the ‘Meet the Team’ section show cases the BBMF team for 2017. The ‘Focus on …’ series continues with Hurricane Mk IIC PZ865, ‘The Last of the Many’, being the subject aircraft this time.
The BBMF Yearbook is NOT on sale to the general public. It is available only to members of the RAF Memorial Flight Official Club. Join the Club today to receive your free copy and all of the twice-yearly BBMF magazines, as well as the monthly e-newsletters with content exclusive to Club members.